On 30 September, Navantia commissioned the LHD Juan Carlos I to the Spanish Navy at Ferrol Arsenal. The King of Spain has presided the official reception ceremony of this amphibious ship, which is the biggest ever built by Navantia as well as the biggest ship of the Spanish Navy. Other authorities, such as the Minister of Defence Carmen Chacón and the president of Navantia Aurelio Martínez, attended the ceremony.

The ship’s construction started in 2005 and it was launched on 10 March 2008. Queen Sofía was made godmother of the ship.

The LHD Juan Carlos I is designed to carry out amphibious missions, force deployment, humanitarian assistance and can be used as an auxiliary aircraft carrier.

The ship has a large hospital capacity, which makes it ideal for deployment in disaster areas, in addition to her cargo capacity.

With an overall length of 230.82m (flight deck 202.3m), 32m beam and full load displacement of more than 27,500t, this is the biggest ship ever made available to the Spanish Navy. It is also the first of its size with podded electrical propulsion. Highly automated, the crew will consist of just 247 members.

  • Overall length: 231.4m
  • Length between perpendiculars: 205.7m
  • Maximum beam: 32m
  • Beam waterline: 29.5m
  • Design draught: 6.8m
  • Depth to fly deck: 27.5m
  • Light weight: 19,300t
  • Full load dead weight: 6,500t
  • Future growth margin: 1,000t
  • Full load displacement: 26,800t
  • Displacement in air operation: 3,900t
  • Maximum speed (full load): >20kn
  • Maximum speed in air operations: >21kn
  • Continuous speed: >19.5kn
  • Range at 15 knots: 9,000 miles
  • Hangar area and light cargo deck: 3,000m²
  • Dock area and heavy cargo deck: >2,600m²
  • Area on flight deck: >4500m²
  • Dock capacity [LCM 1E; LCAC]: [4 ;1 ]
  • Spots for helicopters [NH-90; CH-47]: [6 ;4 ]
  • Aircraft operations with VSTOL: AV-8B; JSF
  • Crew: 243 people
  • General staff: 103 people
  • Flight embarked unit: 172 people
  • Naval landing group: 23 people
  • Embarked forces: 902 people
  • Accommodation capacity: 1,443 people
  • Provisions for the crew, EM, UNAEMB, GNP: 20 days
  • Provisions for embarked forces: 30 days

Many international navies have shown their interest into the LHD Juan Carlos I. Navantia is constructing two units for the Australian Navy, which was signed in 2007.